IVMF partners with GE to launch employer toolkit to recognize, recruit veteran talent in business and industry

Veteran Employment Leading Practices: Tools for Engaging Talent will provide resources for executive leaders, human resources professionals, veteran employees, peer co-workers

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) and GE today announced a partnership to empower the nation’s employers to adopt a collaborative and strategic approach to veteran employment. GE is both lead corporate sponsor of the IVMF’s Veteran Employment Leading Practices: Tools for Engaging Talent toolkit and an IVMF flagship partner, supporting the institute’s work to improve the employment situation of veterans and their families. Available at toolkit.vets.syr.edu, the resource builds on work begun by the IVMF with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Robin Hood in collaboration with McKinsey & Company and information from more than 40 private sector businesses.

Veteran Employment Leading Practices-curated contributions by many stakeholders, useable by everyone-will contain resources for executive leaders, human resources professionals, veteran employees and peer co-workers designed to promote the business case for recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing veterans in careers in the private sector. It will be organized into four main categories:

  • Leadership (executive engagement)
  • Preparedness (workforce development and preparation)
  • HR Processes, Practices & Tools (human resources practices)
  • Co-Worker & Peer Resources (employee engagement)

McKinsey & Company and Robin Hood have been critical partners in the design and preparation of tools for these categories, particularly in the Leadership component with a focus on executive engagement. McKinsey helps the world’s leading private, public and social sector organizations meet their most pressing management challenges and is pleased to contribute its capabilities to help employers capture the distinctive opportunity veterans bring to the civilian workforce.

“Robin Hood is proud to have played a part in bringing the IVMF and GE together for this important work which will help more veterans find meaningful work,” says David Saltzman, executive director of Robin Hood. “Through Robin Hood’s Veterans Initiative, we have created a partnership with New York City’s Workforce1 program which placed over 800 veterans and their spouses in jobs last year. Thanks in part to programs like the IVMF’s new toolkit, we hope to be able to increase that figure by 50 percent this year, resulting in greater economic stability and prosperity for veterans and their families.”

The partnership behind the toolkit is part of a broader coalition effort, Get Skills to Work, announced by GE which aims to help close the U.S. “skills gap”-specifically in advanced manufacturing-by providing employers with tools they need to recruit, hire, onboard and mentor veterans, an underutilized talent resource. Many veterans express a continuing need to “be of service” to a cause greater than themselves, and American competitiveness in manufacturing is critical to economic security, and to the careers and financial security of the nation’s veterans and their families.

“The IVMF will contribute our sector-leading employment practices work to the Get Skills to Work coalition and bridge our partnerships with the JPMC-lead 100,000 Jobs Mission Coalition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative, and other business, industry, and government partnerships focused on the demand-side of veteran employment,” says Mike Haynie, IVMF executive director and founder. “We are excited by this partnership which exemplifies Syracuse University’s broad commitment to veterans, building on work established during the post-World War II GI Bulge, to educate and prepare America’s veterans, military members and families for careers.”

The IVMF has collected and shared leading practices from over 40 private sector leaders through its Guide to Leading Policies, Practices & Resources: Supporting the Employment of Veterans and Military Families, and has authored and distributed  The Business Case for Hiring a Veteran: Beyond the Cliches, a report highlighting 10 research-informed propositions on the value of veterans in competitive business environments. Veteran Employment Leading Practices: Tools for Engaging Talent will serve as a portal to these practices, and importantly, as a central collection point for business, industry, NGO, veterans service organizations and government partners to share resources.

“We encourage stakeholders in veteran employment to share their tools with their peers, and to work with the IVMF collaboratively to contribute information, share challenges and collectively solve them, and participate in dialogue that the IVMF and our partners convene,” says James Schmeling, IVMF managing director and co-founder.  “We want to work with every company, business association and HR group interested in learning about or sharing information on employing veterans, including information technology, operations, advanced manufacturing and other fields.”

Syracuse University is no stranger to advanced manufacturing, with the latest “win” announced by the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge just this past week. A partnership between SU, NYSTAR, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Onondaga Community College, the coalition will receive nearly $2 million for “A Proposal to Accelerate Innovations in Advanced Manufacturing of Thermal and Environmental Control Systems.” The Accelerator Challenge is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the National Science Foundation.

Supply side – educating veterans, military and family members

In addition to the demand side of the employment equation, Syracuse University works to prepare veterans and their families for careers through undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs. SU has over 250 current veteran, active duty and military dependents enrolled, with funding from the GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program and contracts with the Department of Defense (DOD) and service branches. More than 500 veterans and military family members participate in non-matriculated certificate and distance education programs at SU. From the dean of the Whitman School of Management to the director of the Setnor School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, staff at the IVMF and faculty and staff across campus, veterans have leadership roles within the University. The SU Veterans’ Resource Center and student veterans club through SU’s University College support veteran and military dependent students. The inclusive culture at Syracuse welcomes veterans, including wounded veterans, and their families as participants in all aspects of the campus community.

SU’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) is delivering military-to-civilian transition education at no cost to post 9/11 veterans, as well as industry standard training and certification in information technology and operations through its Veterans Technology Program. An innovative partnership with the U.S. Army Signal Center School of Information Technology prepares military members and veterans for careers with an M.S. in information management or M.S. in telecommunications and network management, and partnership with the National Defense University’s Information Resources Management College (iCollege) offers certificates in egovernment management and leadership (co-offered with SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs), information security management and information systems & telecommunications management. Additionally, the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security designated Syracuse a national Center of Academic Excellence  in Information Assurance Education (IAE) and a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance-Research. In addition, SU’s iSchool, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS), Maxwell School and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications have collaborated to promote interdisciplinary education in information assurance. Each of these areas has robust importance in American advanced manufacturing’s ability to guard its information infrastructure and maintain its competitive position in the world economy.

LCS, together with Maxwell, is conducting and sharing research on attracting military veterans into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, areas critical to U.S. competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. Whitman educates Army and defense comptrollers who may transition into manufacturing after their military careers end, and the list goes on.

Entrepreneurship, economic security, job growth

Syracuse and partner academic institutions Texas A&M University, Purdue University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Connecticut, Louisiana State University, Florida State University and Cornell University have prepared more than 1,200 veterans, active duty military and spouses, family members of wounded warriors, Guard and Reserve members and their families for business ownership or participation in the supply chain through the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), EBV-FamiliesVeteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) and Operation Endure & Grow programs. Surveys of EBV program graduates show that 57 percent have started businesses and 60 percent of those businesses have employees, with an average of six employees not including the business owner. Many IVMF program graduate businesses are already part of the supply chain for larger businesses. The IVMF’s partnership with the U.S. Business Leadership Network will lead to many of the nation’s service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses becoming certified disability-owned diversity suppliers.

Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup is a partnership of the IVMF, SBA and its expert network of resource partners (including Women’s Business Centers, SCORE chapters, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Opportunity Centers) the Department of Veterans Affairs and DOD to provide transitioning service members knowledge, tools and resources they need to evaluate opportunities and become successful entrepreneurs. Boots to Business provides exposure to entrepreneurship training to all 250,000 service members who transition from active duty to civilian life each year. The pilot program is currently being launched with the Marine Corps at four locations: Quantico, Va.; Cherry Point, N.C.; Camp Pendleton, Calif.; and Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif.  The initiative includes three phases of instruction: a short introductory video on entrepreneurship; an in-person classroom training on entrepreneurship; and an in-depth, online, eight-week entrepreneurship course that leads to the creation of a business plan.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF)

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) was founded in 2011 by Syracuse University as the result of a historic partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co. As the first institute of its kind in the nation, the mission of the IVMF is to leverage the intellectual, programmatic and human capital resources of higher education in support of the post-service life course of the nation’s veterans and military families. Specifically, the IVMF focuses on developing impactful programming, cultivating actionable research, conducting policy analysis and providing technical assistance positioned to address the social, economic and public policy challenges facing the veterans’ community. The IVMF team approaches this mission as a collaboration, forging enduring partnerships with government, private industry, institutions of higher education, philanthropic organizations and other stakeholders committed to supporting transitioning service members, veterans and their families.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works.

About Robin Hood

For more than 20 years, Robin Hood has fought poverty in New York City. We find, fund and partner with programs that have proven they are an effective remedy to poverty and are a consistent force for good in the lives of New Yorkers in need. We employ a rigorous system of metrics and third-party evaluation to ensure grantee accountability. The board pays all administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of donations goes directly to helping New Yorkers in need build better lives. We work closely with our grantees to make them more effective, enabling them to assist even more people.

About McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm dedicated to helping the world’s leading organizations address their strategic challenges, from reorganizing for long-term growth to improving business performance and maximizing revenue. With consultants deployed in more than 50 countries around the globe, McKinsey advises on strategic, operational, organizational and technological issues. For more than eight decades, the firm’s primary objective has been to serve as an organization’s most trusted external advisor on critical issues facing senior management.  The firm has extensive experience in all major industry sectors and primary functional areas, as well as in-depth expertise in high-priority areas for today’s business leaders. McKinsey also helps a diverse range of government institutions, public administrations and non-profit organizations with their management challenges.

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